LAHORE – A 10-year-old girl was forcibly married to a 50-year-old man in Pakistan’s Punjab province under a custom in which a girl can be offered in marriage to resolve a feud, according to a media report today.
The incident occurred at Malahanwala in Hafizabad district, where the young daughter of Muhammad Akram was married off under the custom of ‘vani’ to settle a dispute that began when he took a second wife.
Akram abducted a woman named Munawaran Bibi and later married her out of love, the police said. Munawaran was Akram’s second wife.
The village panchayat decided to give Akram’s daughter’s in marriage to Munawaran’s middle-aged brother Falak Sher to settle the feud that began after Akram’s second marriage.
The FIR filed by the young girl’s uncle said Falak Sher barged into Akram’s house with seven other men, including a prayer leader from a mosque, and performed a forced marriage in the presence of Akram’s first wife.
Mukhtar Hussain, the police officer investigating the case, said the young girl later escaped from Falak Sher’s custody and returned to her parents. The police was carrying out raids to arrest all accused named in the FIR.
The FIR, registered on Saturday, named nine persons, including Falak Sher, the prayer leader and seven members of the panchayat.
Local residents said the administration and the police were reluctant to act against the accused. However, police officials claimed they registered a case against the accused without any delay. —